This is Robert Krieger’s first collection, and the poems in it present an authentic voice richly evocative of the Pacific Northwest. Landscapes and creatures are caught with a brilliance of detail suggestive of Hopkins or Wilbur: the struggles of the poet’s psyche are integrated with his vision of the natural world as in Roethke or Kunitz. Krieger’s poems have great diversity and mastery of form and subject, and are filled with images whose felicity will delight the reader.
The full text of Robert Krieger’s Headlands, Rising is stored at Albertson Library at Boise State University, and can be downloaded here. You may also purchase a copy of the book.
Even the gulls cry water’s dominion:
From tidal-flats over granite beaches
Dunes shift inland. Ever to eastward
Angles drift as high as a sand-top lies.
Where rhododendrons, burning in a slough, blow to be buried,
Direction binds longing and distance.
Between Cape Blanco and unsighted forests
A man, bicycle, a ten-mile country of dunes
Are stage-props to the wind’s persistence.
In a haze of flutters, the eye holds nothing;
Wheels turn and grind back
Endless sandscape in a gritty silence.
Even the gulls drop like a question,
Blinding half the sky. Dune grass goes white.
If luckless winds never turn—face set homeward—
The wheel’s direction is his only keeping,
Riding, riding, the bicycle makes small distance.
Copyright © 1977 by Robert Krieger
Robert Krieger was born in Tacoma, Washington, and has lived most of his life in Portland, Oregon and Seattle. He received his B.S. from Lewis and Clark. his M. A in Advanced Writing from the University of Washington in 1959. his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1971, writing his dissertation on the early poems of D. H. Lawrence: "Erotic Design in Look! We Have Come Through!" His fiction appears in Paris Review, his criticism in Prairie Schooner, and his poems in such magazines as Atlantic, The Nation, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Quarterly Review of Literature Literary Review, and December.